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Meso- and microscale sea-ice motion in the East Siberian Sea as determined from ERS-1 SAR Data

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Synthetic aperture radar- (SAR-)derived ice-motion vectors and SAR interferometry were used to study the sea-ice conditions in the region between the coast and 75° N (~ 560 km) in the East Siberian Sea in the vicinity of the Kolyma River. ERS-1 SAR data were acquired between 24 December 1993 and 30 March 1994 during the 3 day repeat Ice Phase of the satellite. The time series of the ice-motion vector fields revealed rapid (3 day) changes in the direction and displacement of the pack ice. Longer-term (≥ 1 month) trends also emerged which were related to changes in large-scale atmospheric circulation. On the basis of this time series, three sea-ice zones were identified: the near-shore, stationary-ice zone; a transitional-ice zone;and the pack-ice zone. Three 3 day interval and one 9 day interval interferometric sets (amplitude, correlation and phase diagrams) were generated for the end of December, the begining of February and mid-March. They revealed that the stationary-ice zone adjacent to the coast is in constant motion, primarily by lateral displacement, bending, tilting and rotation induced by atmospheric/oceanic forcing. The interferogram patterns change through time as the sea ice becomes thicker and a network of cracks becomes established in the ice cover. It was found that the major features in the interferograms were spatially correlated with sea-ice deformation features (cracks and ridges) and major discontinuities in ice thickness.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Geophysical Institute, University of Alaska Fairbanks, Fairbanks, Alaska 99775-7320, U.S.A.

Publication date: 1999-06-01

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  • The Journal of Glaciology is published six times per year. It accepts submissions from any discipline related to the study of snow and ice. All articles are peer reviewed. The Journal is included in the ISI Science Citation Index.
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